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autumn huntingWith the autumn hunting season in full swing following an earlier harvest than we have experienced in previous years, all eyes are now firmly set on opening meets across the country.

Preparations for the forthcoming season are well underway in kennels and stables with regard to hounds, horses and the country. The dry weather has proved testing at times for hunt staff and hounds during this important time of education for the young entry, however the early October rain was most welcome with scenting conditions improving almost immediately.

For those who haven’t managed to get out autumn hunting, various hunting clinics have been taking place around the country. These offer an ideal opportunity to prepare horses for the country they are likely to cross and to refresh the riding skills of those who might not ride from the end of one season to the beginning of the next.

The 10th anniversary of the passing of the Hunting Act 2004 looms on 18 November, while the debate over the future of the ban continues with it still being high on the political agenda.

This is also the time of year for masters, hunt officials and members of hunt staff to start considering their plans for the 2015/16 season with some new appointments having been made already.

York and Ainsty South

Autumn hunting 2014: in pictures

There are plenty of things for us to moan about when the evenings draw in and the leaves turn — mucking out, mud and rugs spring to mind. But surely…

Hunter and hounds

Taking a young horse hunting: dos and don’ts

Introducing a young or new horse to the hunting field can be a daunting prospect. Follow our advice to make the experience as pleasurable as possible over the coming season

Cheshire Forest hunt

How to buy a hunter: 10 top tips

Struggling to navigate the hunters for sale on the market? Take a look at our advice for finding the perfect match